Video conferencing will have a significant impact on care outcomes and patient and practitioner satisfaction when properly integrated into healthcare systems and working practices. It will play a vital role in the development of e-health as a central tenet of healthcare.
The cost-effective and efficient way for healthcare providers to deliver better services is to enhance the level of collaboration between different stakeholders. Video conferencing is the best platform to deliver these outcomes.
Investment in e-health services especially in emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America will spur further investment in North America and Europe as they compete in outcomes, particularly where healthcare providers compete in specific disease treatment areas.
“Video conferencing solutions must be tailored to various usage scenarios, ranging from disease-specific diagnosis and treatment between a care provider and patient to consultation between professionals. The equipment and networks required will also vary significantly, ranging from high-end telepresence reliant on a high-speed broadband connection to simple desktop and laptop services,” said Charlie Davies, principal analyst, Telco Strategy at Ovum.
The long-term prospects for video conferencing are promising. The rise in fixed and mobile broadband connectivity, improvements in equipment interoperability and innovation in application and M2M development will underpin its development,
“Ovum believes that there will be considerable uptake of video conferencing due to the evolution of healthcare delivery. The increasingly central role of information and communications technology (ICT) will improve outcomes, allow remote consultations and save costs,” said Cornelia Wels-Maug, senior analyst and co-author for the report.
Interaction between healthcare professionals, care providers and patients, as well as training and education, can be facilitated easily with video conferencing. The usage of video conferencing services among medium-sized healthcare enterprises across Australia has increased in the past year.
Mobile healthcare and medical App downloads will reach 44 million in 2012, rising to 142 Million in 2016, according to the Juniper Research.
The healthcare peripherals market is growing and increasing smartphone processing power will result in the number of patients monitored by mobile networks to rise to 3 million by 2016.
Developing markets will continue to benefit from SMS-based education program and stand to benefit in medium term from app-based healthcare services such as mobile ultrasound that are now being developed.